GOLF GTI TESTED
How do you make an already great car better? Vw tHinks new tecHnologies and driVing aids would do tHe trick.
The hatchback has not lost any of its fun-to-drive factor despite going upscale.
THE seventh-generation Golf GTI hot hatch is a lot of fun to drive, and at the same time, is also a family-friendly car that is packed with cabin comforts aplenty.
While this opinion also applies to previous Golf GTI incarnations, Volkswagen has brought its legendary Golf GTI to even higher levels of sophistication with new engineering technologies and driving aids.
Engineered as the fastest, most powerful, and most fuel-efficient Golf GTI ever, Volkswagen’s new sporty icon is based on a versatile and flexible modular transverse matrix (MQB) platform.
Compared with the previous model, the new German hot hatch has not only lost some weight (up to 42kg lower), it has also grown slightly in size, with its wheelbase extended by 56mm to 2,631mm.
In Malaysia, the new Golf GTI is also offered with an optional RM10,000 Tech Pack which consists of Vienna leather seats with red stitching, a 12-way electric adjustable driver’s seat, and Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) with five driving modes - Sport, Normal, Comfort, Eco, Individual.
Of course, buyers can always save RM10,000 if they don’t mind being ensconced in Clark fabric seat upholstery with covers in the classic tartan pattern, or having to manually adjust the driver’s seat, or doing without the DCC which adaptively adjusts damper characteristics.
Then again, another RM8,000 can be saved by opting for the threedoor GTI Pure which lacks a fair bit of bells and whistles.
Anyway, we recently took a fivedoor GTI Advanced fitted with the optional Tech Pack for a test drive, and was impressed with its Jekyll and Hyde qualities.
With its merry blend of dynamic performance and all-round occupant comforts, the popular saying “You can’t have your cake and eat it too!” does not apply to this car. We stepped hard on the accelerator pedal for some spirited driving, and marvelled at its extremely quick acceleration and taut chassis, as we steered accurately into targetted gaps in road traffic.
When driven hard and negotiating road bends, there is abundant grip from the 225/40 R18 tyres and very little understeer.
Handling and steering are impressively precise, helped by features such as a well-sorted sport suspension, XDS+ vehicle dynamic function and a new progressive steering system that combine to work like a well-oiled German Bundesliga football team.
Meanwhile, there are plenty to enjoy here in the area of vehicle comforts and appointments.
These include goodies like dualzone temperature control for airconditioning, cruise control with speed limiter, bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, front and rear parking sensors, rear air-conditioning vents, front and rear reading lights and an
The instrument panel look is typically VW.
Go here to choose your ride mode.